Iowa Insect Information Notes

Rove Beetle

Rove Beetle

Rove beetles are very common insects that usually go unnoticed. They are slender, elongate beetles with the distinctive characteristic of having wing covers (elytra) that are much shorter than the abdomen. The result is that over half of the top surface of the abdomen is exposed. Most rove beetles are black or brown. One common species has grayish markings on the wings and abdomen.

Most rove beetles are medium sized beetles though a few species are up to 1 inch long. Rove beetles are very active fliers or runners. When they run they often raise the tip of the abdomen.

Rove beetles are completely harmless though their habits make them unappealing. They are found in or near decaying organic matter, especially dead animals. They have the interesting (though unpleasant) habit of feeding on other insects such as fly maggots that infest carrion (less often dung or fungus).

There is no special control for these predatory insects. They are not harmful to the house, contents or occupants. The only necessary control is to try to locate a dead animal or other decaying organic matter that is attracting them to the area and remove it. No insecticide sprays are necessary. When the dead animal is removed (or dries completely) these beetles will disappear on their own.

Updated 07/14/2005 - 1:18pm